Finding headspace in green workplaces : the restorative value of science park open space
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Person-environment relationships in five urban-fringe science parks in central Scotland were investigated through the application of a mixed method case study design. The study sought to explore the impact of greenspace at these knowledge-sector workplaces on employee wellbeing, with particular focus on restorative effects of viewing and spending time in green environments. The thesis also aims to develop understanding of how workers at these sites engage with, and relate to, the outdoor environment at their workplace. Both quantitative and qualitative data were collected; the former through an online questionnaire (n=366), and the latter through in-depth semi-structured walking interviews (n=16) conducted on and around the sites. This research is the first to provide evidence of wellbeing benefits of greenspace in the context of UK workplaces. Its focus on the landscape of science parks is of particular relevance given the prominence of this development model in planning policy to promote regional economic growth, as well as the central role of employee functioning in the productivity of innovative knowledge-sector businesses. The insights gained through the research point to a number of conclusions for the planning and design of future business sites at the urban fringe. The research also makes an original contribution to the international research on restorative environments in its exploration of how different types and designs of open space impact on the wellbeing of workers and, in particular, how individual factors influence responses to elements of open space design and management in the workplace context.